## A Look At The Intrinsic Value Of Schneider Electric S.E. (EPA:SU)

**Key Insights**

- The projected fair value for Schneider Electric is €190 based on 2 Stage Free Cash Flow to Equity
- Current share price of €212 suggests Schneider Electric is potentially trading close to its fair value
- Analyst price target for SU is €207, which is 9.1% above our fair value estimate

How far off is Schneider Electric S.E. (EPA:SU) from its intrinsic value? Using the most recent financial data, we’ll take a look at whether the stock is fairly priced by projecting its future cash flows and then discounting them to today’s value. Our analysis will employ the Discounted Cash Flow (DCF) model. There’s really not all that much to it, even though it might appear quite complex.

We would caution that there are many ways of valuing a company and, like the DCF, each technique has advantages and disadvantages in certain scenarios. If you still have some burning questions about this type of valuation, take a look at the Simply Wall St analysis model.

See our latest analysis for Schneider Electric

**Step By Step Through The Calculation**

We’re using the 2-stage growth model, which simply means we take in account two stages of company’s growth. In the initial period the company may have a higher growth rate and the second stage is usually assumed to have a stable growth rate. In the first stage we need to estimate the cash flows to the business over the next ten years. Where possible we use analyst estimates, but when these aren’t available we extrapolate the previous free cash flow (FCF) from the last estimate or reported value. We assume companies with shrinking free cash flow will slow their rate of shrinkage, and that companies with growing free cash flow will see their growth rate slow, over this period. We do this to reflect that growth tends to slow more in the early years than it does in later years.

A DCF is all about the idea that a dollar in the future is less valuable than a dollar today, and so the sum of these future cash flows is then discounted to today’s value:

2024 | 2025 | 2026 | 2027 | 2028 | 2029 | 2030 | 2031 | 2032 | 2033 | |

Levered FCF (€, Millions) | €4.11b | €4.81b | €5.34b | €6.05b | €6.56b | €6.97b | €7.29b | €7.55b | €7.75b | €7.92b |

Growth Rate Estimate Source | Analyst x9 | Analyst x10 | Analyst x6 | Analyst x1 | Est @ 8.41% | Est @ 6.17% | Est @ 4.61% | Est @ 3.51% | Est @ 2.75% | Est @ 2.21% |

Present Value (€, Millions) Discounted @ 7.3% | €3.8k | €4.2k | €4.3k | €4.6k | €4.6k | €4.6k | €4.5k | €4.3k | €4.1k | €3.9k |

Present Value of 10-year Cash Flow (PVCF) = €43b

We now need to calculate the Terminal Value, which accounts for all the future cash flows after this ten year period. For a number of reasons a very conservative growth rate is used that cannot exceed that of a country’s GDP growth. In this case we have used the 5-year average of the 10-year government bond yield (1.0%) to estimate future growth. In the same way as with the 10-year ‘growth’ period, we discount future cash flows to today’s value, using a cost of equity of 7.3%.

Terminal Value (TV)= FCF_{2033} × (1 + g) ÷ (r – g) = €7.9b× (1 + 1.0%) ÷ (7.3%– 1.0%) = €127b

Present Value of Terminal Value (PVTV)= TV / (1 + r)^{10}= €127b÷ ( 1 + 7.3%)^{10}= €63b

The total value is the sum of cash flows for the next ten years plus the discounted terminal value, which results in the Total Equity Value, which in this case is €106b. In the final step we divide the equity value by the number of shares outstanding. Compared to the current share price of €212, the company appears around fair value at the time of writing. Valuations are imprecise instruments though, rather like a telescope – move a few degrees and end up in a different galaxy. Do keep this in mind.

**Important Assumptions**

The calculation above is very dependent on two assumptions. The first is the discount rate and the other is the cash flows. If you don’t agree with these result, have a go at the calculation yourself and play with the assumptions. The DCF also does not consider the possible cyclicality of an industry, or a company’s future capital requirements, so it does not give a full picture of a company’s potential performance. Given that we are looking at Schneider Electric as potential shareholders, the cost of equity is used as the discount rate, rather than the cost of capital (or weighted average cost of capital, WACC) which accounts for debt. In this calculation we’ve used 7.3%, which is based on a levered beta of 1.183. Beta is a measure of a stock’s volatility, compared to the market as a whole. We get our beta from the industry average beta of globally comparable companies, with an imposed limit between 0.8 and 2.0, which is a reasonable range for a stable business.

**Moving On:**

Although the valuation of a company is important, it ideally won’t be the sole piece of analysis you scrutinize for a company. DCF models are not the be-all and end-all of investment valuation. Instead the best use for a DCF model is to test certain assumptions and theories to see if they would lead to the company being undervalued or overvalued. For example, changes in the company’s cost of equity or the risk free rate can significantly impact the valuation. For Schneider Electric, there are three fundamental items you should further examine:

- Financial Health: Does SU have a healthy balance sheet? Take a look at our free balance sheet analysis with six simple checks on key factors like leverage and risk.
- Future Earnings: How does SU’s growth rate compare to its peers and the wider market? Dig deeper into the analyst consensus number for the upcoming years by interacting with our free analyst growth expectation chart.
- Other High Quality Alternatives: Do you like a good all-rounder? Explore our interactive list of high quality stocks to get an idea of what else is out there you may be missing!

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